Sam Brownback’s Office Upset Over Teenager’s Tweet

SamBrownbackOnce upon a time, Kansas's new governor, Sam Brownback, wanted to lead the free world. He hated gays and their "marriages," he was dog-tired of America's long moral decline, and most importantly, he was on a first-name basis with the Supreme Creator of The Universe. God, as Sam called him, really wanted Sam to be the President of The United States of America. And so, in 2008, then-Senator Brownback ran for that office on a platform of All Jesus, All The Time.

But Sam was wrong about God's plans for him, and now the governor's ambitions are more modest. Mostly, it seems, he just wants high schoolers to stop making fun of him. This week, Gawker reports on Kansas high school senior Emma Sullivan, who visited Topeka on a field trip to see the governor speak. After her visit, Emma Tweeted of her time with the anti-gay, anti-Palestinian, anti-evolution, anti-stem-cell-research governor:

just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot

Apparently, Emma Sullivan didn't actually tell Gov. Brownback that he "sucked, in person." Still, she thinks he sucks. So — how did Gov. Brownback respond to this teenager's assault on his non-sucktitude?

His staff contacted her school's principal. Now, Emma's got to write a letter to the governor apologizing for voicing her opinions.


  1. Michael Vilain says

    He not only sucks, he swallows.

    It’s up to this girl to decide if her free speech was impinged enough to call the ACLU. After writing the letter “I’m sorry you didn’t like my opinion.”, I think school officials should just pull up their pants, stand up and do their fricking jobs of educating the kids rather than bending over to a public figure who didn’t like a private citizen’s opinion. I think the ACLU would LOVE this case.

  2. Alex Parrish says

    People — even teenagers — should not be forced to apologize for something unless they are actually sorry. The whole idea of a forced apology is an oxymoron. Unless she has actually changed her mind — leave her alone. It’s her opinion and she’s entitled to it. (And she is 100 percent correct about Brownback)

  3. Jeremy says

    How is it legal for her school to force her to apologize? Are they threatening to expel her for voicing her opinion? That’s a blatant violation of free speech, not to mention really pathetic on the part of Governor Browneye.

  4. Cam says

    Don’t you love how the GOP keeps trying to convince America that they are the tough party? The Party of Strength etc… and yet all I hear from them constantly is “Boo Hoo, the people hurt my feelings, you need to apologize to me!” Seriously, Sara Palin constantly refused to answer questions by claiming they were only being asked of her because she was a woman. Romney keeps deflecting any criticism saying it’s only aimed at him because he’s Mormon, Bachman claims the same thing because of her sex and religion etc.. The GOP now more resembles Cindy Brady tattling to their mommies more than they resemble a political party.

  5. Dr. Verdon Coleman says

    My question is where are her parents? And if this was my child, I wish they would… let’s just say that pigs would fly before that apology was issued.

  6. Joan says

    Gee, Adol-uh, Sam sounds like he’s following in the footsteps of our enemy from the 40s. Staff that kowtows to him, anti-gay, anti-free speech, anti-science, and a religious zealot. If a “Berlin” wall goes up around Kansas I would not be surprised!

  7. Lymis says

    Really, this kid should craft the non-apology of all time, just like every anti-gay celebrity and politician does. Along the “I’m sorry if my telling the truth hurt your feelings, and I’m sorry that you don’t understand and uphold the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution you swore an oath to uphold” sort of lines, but it could be much better crafted.

    And, if either the school or the governor wants to go on record that those sort of statements aren’t a real apology, that should be taken down and used as a weapon against every one of these assholes in the future.

    At the very least, the media needs to run with this – he sure has his priorities straight.

  8. ChrisQ says

    But he probably trashes the LGBT community under the guise of “religious freedom” right? UGH. She shouldn’t apologize at all. #HeDoesSuck #WhatDoYouExpectFromKansas #HomeOfWestboro

  9. kodiak says

    Dear Suckhole,

    I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for my recent comments on how much you suck as an elected public official.
    It sucks that you were offended by my saying that you suck. It was never my intention to indicate that you can put a vacuum to shame,
    or intimate that your oral suction capabilities were amiss or had gone awry, or perhaps invite comparison between you and lampreys.
    But words have been known to miss the mark, and misunderstandings can so easily arise in our wonderful era of free speech. It sucks that you were personally offended by my response to your sucky views, and I’m amazed how you sucked it up and contacted my school and began the legislative process that results in this letter of apology for saying you suck.
    Thank you for illuminating how free speech in this country works for those in power! Now I’m beginning to see your point of view, which I would surmise as “It sucks not to be me.”
    In closing, let me once again offer my apology regarding your awesome oral ability to draw into the mouth by moving your tongue and lips.

    You Suck Wads,


  10. Anon, anon says

    I actually don’t care about this as a free speech issue. This is her opportunity to write him a well thought-out letter detailing her disagreements with him. Sounds like she could use a lesson in productive ways to express dissent.

  11. candideinnc says

    Dear Anon,Anon–

    I am sure that a well thought out letter would have received a form letter reply. Frankly, I think voicing disgust gets right to the heart of the matter. And further, I think the adult way for the governor to respond to the situation would have been a thoughtful letter to the girl rather than strong arming the authorities. Even further, I think the school should have responded to Brownback that they cannot police the internet to make their students be polite…it simply is none of their business and not their job.

  12. Sean says

    Do NOT write that letter. You were exercising your right to free speech! Under no circumstances should you allow the likes of a Sam Brownback infringe on that or any other right! I’m in kansas cand I will publicly support you in any way possible.

  13. Jason 2 says

    Freedom is Slavery folks. If you criticize the Great Governor the reeducation camp officials will make you take it all back in the name of Loyalty to the Leader.

  14. anon says

    I always love it when politician lie about how a rival apologized. (Smith called me the other day to say how sorry he was… and Smith is like, I did what??)

    While we can guess why she doesn’t like the Gov. It would be better for her to explain in detail why she detests him so, perhaps in a blog as I doubt she’d get a letter to a newspaper published.

  15. Richard Golden says

    Governor I am really sorry that you suck but the fact remains the same, in my mind you will still suck weather I say I’m sorry or not, so don’t blame be because you suck and I truly mean that in a bad way
    There you go Emma just cut & paste

  16. says

    “I’m sorry that I live in a country where a grown man in a position of political power can promote bigotry and hatred and prejudice and be celebrated for it, and a child is punished for responding to said bigotry, hatred and prejudice”


  17. Bobby says

    Is the principal spineless, dickless, or both? Caving into the demands of the deeply offended Governor Brokeback childishly redefines terms like “weak” and “misguided”. The principal needs to grow a pair.

    So much for teaching the kiddies about free speech or any other constitutional right.

  18. Anon, anon says


    Oh, yes. “just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot” gets write to “the heart of the matter.” Let’s hope that all high school students are this eloquent. Just think of the sophisticated heights that political discourse will reach in 20 years!

    She made a throw-away tweet to which the governor has stupidly responded by opening the door for more criticism. The governor demands satisfaction? She has the choice to whine about her first amendment rights or she can use her first amendment rights to further explain why he sucks.

    I know which one I hope to see.

  19. Bart says

    Dear Bareback or Brownback, whatever your name is. You do suck. Don’t bother having your staff (what are you too much of a little b*tch to do it yourself?) contact me, because I’d tell them that they suck and they work for a guy who sucks. And obviously the state of which you are governor is as flat as your intelligence. Which also sucks.

    Go suck. Bart

  20. walter says

    please tell me why all these bigots when criticized get all hurt and bent out of shape. they then resort to playing the viccard. they all whine so loudly challenged. i hope the girls parents march right into an aclu office and sue gov dickwad for violating her free speech. i also hope the people of kansas see what an ass their governor is.

  21. Kim says

    I have an idea. Maybe Emma and The Roots should get together and draft a formal apology to the crybabies. For a group of people that can sling mud at everyone other than white Christian males, they sure can’t take it when anyone tells the truth about them. I’m with Emma and the Roots …. she’s probably right he sucks and I know the Roots were right!

  22. Concerned Conservative says

    As a Conservative it pains me to see that another Republican representative is afraid to hear what the populace has to say. It is this teenagers right to speak up, and say what she wants.

    This is another sad day for our party.

  23. Mary says

    I’m wondering if there isn’t more to this story than we’re being told. I can see why no one likes being told that they suck, but I mean..come on. People write negative things about politicians all the time. Hard to believe that Brownback is this sensitive and making a fuss about one teenager’s tweet. Not calling anyone a liar or anything, but I’d like to hear more details before I make up my mind. But certainly this kid has a right to her free speech without being hassled by anyone.

  24. Chris says

    If I were her that letter would be full of malicious compliance pointing out every single one of his douchebaggery positions, but stating that he ‘couldn’t be that’ because he’s supposed to be a leader of all people that he represents, not some special interest that lines up with designated HATE GROUPS – oh no because he’s the governor.

    Honey, SNARK the hell out of that. The school can NOT suspend you. If the governor threatens to cut funding it’s tantamount to blackmailing and should be pointed out by school officials.
    I highly doubt the school has a twitter clause.

  25. says

    I’ll admit to having never tweeted anything in my life, and don’t understand the intricacies of how it works and who would be privy to her tweets outside of those being tweeted, but I find it troubling that her tweet was even brought to the governors attention in the first place. Big Brother anyone? A real man, would have just brushed it off. Says all I need to know about him. Glad he’s not my governor.

  26. Hollywood, CA says

    Dear Governor Browneye,

    I am so sorry that you have a very thin skin and the words of a High School student has sent you into such a state. I’m sorry that you forced me to Tweet that you sucked, and that you haven’t been more of a responsible government official. In the future, I hope that you only see positive things said about you, unlike the hateful things you say about the LGBT community.

    In closing, I’m sorry that you’re such a “sorry” human being.


    Emma Sullivan

  27. Greg says

    Don’t 9 Republicans running for President find new ways to blame Obama and say he sucks every day in every way in every debate and sound bite? Where is their apology letter?

  28. Paul R says

    I find it very odd that the governor’s office would just happen to find the tweet of a teenager. Given the millions (billion?) of tweets sent every day, how did that happen?

  29. candideinnc says

    anon–Her vulgar little tirade got a damned better response than I imagine any well thought out letters of outrage have. As I said, all the polite, sensible arguments for our cause would have resulted in a form letter response from the fu*kwads in Brownback’s office. I like the fact she got under his skin. Suits me fine. Shove the sophistication part. Conservatives are too dumb to respond to logic. They only respond to insults. Your arguments are what they would argue come from pantywaist pansies.

  30. Reid Johnston says

    We need less Freedom of Speech, not more.

    Now that’s deliberately inflammatory, but I wanted to make a point. This “knee-jerk” reaction to all issues concerning the First Amendment has got to stop. Yeah, as an American Citizen everyone is allowed to express their views regardless of their political, religious, economic, social and (unfortunately) intellectual backgrounds. Free speech exists so that the American people are able to voice their dissent without fear of censorship.

    It doesn’t exist so that ungrateful teenagers can spew ignorance and hate from their cell phones about a man whose policies they don’t agree with.

    In this case its actually worse than that because the student failed to make a valid political complaint. It would be one thing if she had given a specific policy that she didn’t agree with, but saying “heblowsalot”

    What I’m trying to get at here is that instead of leaping to the defense of free speech, people should exercise a bit of common sense. Is it truly necessary that everyone hear how much Emma thinks Senator Brownback blows?

    Of course, I’m of the opinion that the Senator’s office should have left the reprimanding up to the girl’s parents (If she was my child, I would have demanded that she apologize). But that’s a different matter entirely.

  31. Jim says

    The Kansas governor and former US Senator is well known for his “Wide Stance” in the mens’ room of Washington DC, especially the Reagan Airport there. He’s a bible pounding ape and honestly Toto, We’re not in Kansas anymore.

  32. Rob says

    Political speech is BROADLY protected under the law. Nobody can legally force her to apologize. Brownback should cut his losses. This is a PR disaster in the making.

  33. Paul R says

    @Reid: actually hardly anyone would have heard of it had his office not made it a big deal. Your views that people shouldn’t be allowed to dissent if that dissent doesn’t meet certain criteria or that an official deserves inherent respect are absurd.

    Sure, she could have have more coherent and collected. But she’s 18. Not a child. She can say and do nearly whatever she pleases, and if you find that distasteful, I’m sorry. Fortunately it’s the system we have.

  34. Reid Johnston says


    I agree that the Senator’s office should have ignored the entire thing.

    And again, I wholeheartedly support free speech when it is used to voice legitimate complaints.

    “just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot”

    But I don’t see even the slightest grain of truth in that. It’s just hate. Hate that should be ignored and forgotten. Unfortunately, even a perceived violation of the first amendment provokes an extreme reaction which destroys any chance of people dropping the whole thing and moving on.

    If students, or anyone else for that matter, expect to be taken seriously they must voice legitimate complaints. They must form coherent and collected arguments.

    It’s absurd that we have a system that gives equal weight to unfounded, impulsive comments from an ill-informed student and sound reasoning from informed individuals.

  35. Jim Shaffer says

    Niether the school or Brownback should have any control as to what she tweets about. Freedom of speech should also be accounted for on the Internet. This is just getting ridiculous.

  36. P Smith says

    Nothing in the girl’s words constitutes libel, slander or insinuation. “Sucks” infers lousiness, as in “sucks to be you”.

    If she had called him a rapist or a pedophile she should apologize, but she said nothing of the sort. Sam Brownnoser should be publicly shamed for such a heavyhanded and childish response to a comment he could have easily ignored.

  37. mmike1969 says

    The apology letter should indicate that she is sorry that A$$hat Brownback feels that way.

    Does anyone of the RWNJ’s have ANY sense of decency and respect towards the US Constitution? Particularly the 1st Amendment?

    Apparently not. So Brownback, you DO suck.

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